It its latest report, the parliamentary panel attached to the health ministry has claimed to have come across several complaints about the quality of drugs supplied to the beneficiaries under central government Health Scheme (CGHS) and called for an efficient mechanism to assure the quality of drugs and system of procurement.
According to the report, "The committee has received a number of complaints from the beneficiaries regarding the poor quality of medicines and near expiry date drugs being supplied in the Wellness Centres, the possibility of counterfeit and spurious drugs finding their way to the distribution system of medicines through CGHS, and other Government agencies and also certain unscrupulous elements in the CGHS system siphoning off CGHS supplies for sale through chemists."
"In view of a large number of complaints regarding the quality aspect of the drugs supplied to the beneficiaries the committee observes that there is an imperative need for an efficient mechanism of quality assurance of the drugs supplied through CGHS," it said.
"The quality of the medicines is the bedrock for health care services and if it gets compromised, it will erode the credibility of the whole health care delivery system. The Committee accordingly directs that suitable measures be taken to ensure that only good quality lab tested drugs are supplied to CGHS beneficiaries," the panel said.
The committee also takes note of the procedures laid down for timely availability of medicines to the beneficiaries but fails to understand as to how the desired benefits are yet not reaching the beneficiaries. The dismal state of availability of medicines was brought to the notice of the committee by the beneficiaries through written submissions as well as through oral submissions, according to the panel report.